Monday, September 16, 2013

SharePoint Error: To open this workbook your computer must have a version of Microsoft Excel

Recently, I was working with a user who experienced this error message when working with an Excel file in SharePoint: To open this workbook, your computer must have a version of Microsoft Excel installed and your Web browser must support opening files directly from Excel in the browser.

The week earlier, I had encountered a similar error on my own computer as well.

First, I wanted to check to see if the SharePoint Foundation Support for Office was installed (on my computer issue, this was not installed):
I clicked on the Windows icon (or the old Start button location) in the lower left hand corner of the screen, select Programs and Features.

The list of installed programs is displayed, scroll down to Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010, left click on it once and on the menu bar select Change.

Select the Add or Remove Features and then click Continue.

Scroll down and expand Office Tools. Ensure that Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Support is installed.

Then Click Continue. Finally, click Close to complete the installation.

However, when I did this, the user still encountered the error.

In this case, the issue was the version of Internet Explorer being run. The user was running 64 bit version of Internet Explorer and these features are not supported in that version. Sometimes it is the simple things that cause the issue.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Share Office 365 SharePoint Site with External Users

One of the questions I get asked a great deal is how to share a SharePoint site in Office 365 with external users. This process has changed somewhat so this blog is my updated version which includes how to tie an external email address to a address. This blog assumes that sharing has been enabled at the SharePoint Administration level.

1. Navigate to the SharePoint site that is to be shared with external users.

2. In the upper right hand corner, select the arrow next to Site Actions, then select Share Site:

3. Enter the email account to share the site with in either the Visitors or Members selection. Select Share. Note: Visitors only get Read access to the site and Members have Contribute/Edit access to the site:

4. A confirmation message will appear stating that an email invitation has been sent to the user:
5. The user will receive an email invitation, like the one here. The user selects Accept your invitation:



6. At the following screen, the user selects Microsoft Account:


7. The user is then directed to the site:



Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Common SharePoint Issues - DataSheet View Not Working

Due to a series of SharePoint migrations, I have been out of the blogging world recently. These have completed and I plan on being able to actively participate in the Office 365 Community again. In my role, I have the opportunity to work with companies of all sizes ( from small business to enterprise). There are some common issues that I have come across no matter the organization size, so I thought I would begin documentint some of these "common" issues.

Issue:  DataSheet view tab not working (greyed out):


The users in this case are using Internet Explorer as the web browser of choice. Note: Internet Explorer is the recommended web browser. Not that Google Chrome or Firefox cannot be used but for all features to work properly, Internet Explorer is recommended.
Troubleshooting: Have the user check which version of Internet Explorer is being utilized to see if it is 64 bit. In the version of Internet Explorer I am utilizing, there is an options icon in the far right hand corner, select that and then select About Internet Explorer from the drop down list :

The About Internet Explorer dialogue box is displayed:
Please note in the version - 64Bit Edition is being utilized. Datasheet view does not work with 64 bit edition of Internet Explorer.
Solution: Ensure that the user runs the 32 bit version of Internet Explorer to access SharePoint. One way to ensure it is 32 bit is to select the Start button and type iexplore and then press Enter. This will launch the 32 bit version of Internet Explorer.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Internet Explorer 10 and Windows Explorer View SharePoint Online

Due to a large SharePoint migration, I have been out of the blogging world. Now that I have a little free time, I am back to writing. One thing that I am hearing today is in regards to Internet Explorer 10 and Windows Explorer view for SharePoint Online.

I am seeing many reports of open with Windows Explorer NOT working after users upgrade to IE 10. These same users report that if they downgrade to IE 9, it works without any issues.

Just be aware, if upgrading to IE 10 this functionality in SharePoint online may no longer work

Monday, December 10, 2012

PrePopulate SharePoint List Form Data (On Line Version) - Part 1

One recent project had a requirement where when a new list item was created, several pieces of information needed to be populated based on the logged in user (this is for SharePoint Online in Office 365). There are several great articles dealing with this utilizing InfoPath (credit here to Laura Rogers at However there is a way to accomplish this without having to create an InfoPath Library and just using a SharePoint list (my approach is to stay simple until I absolutely have to make things more complex).

The first thing to create is the source list. Meaning the list that ties the user account to the data I wish to prepopulate in my list. Create a SharePoint Custom list (in my example titled: Source List) with the following columns:  Department column (single line of text), and then a Users column which is a Person or Group column. (Please note for the Show field option at the bottom of the Person or Group column, select Account- this is specifically for Office 365 SharePoint):

Now, it is time to create the list that this information will be supplied to. Just for an example, I will create a list titled Comments with the following columns: Submitter Name (single line of text), Department (lookup to the Source list created above utilizing the department column) and Comments (mulitiple lines of text):

From the Ribbon bar at the top, select the List tab:

Select Customize Form in the Customize List section (Please note for this feature to be enabled, InfoPath Designer 2010 must be installed on the computer) :

InfoPath Designer 2010 will open the form for the Comments list.

The first thing needed is to prepopulate the Sumitter Name column with the Account Name from the logged in user. There are several ways to approach this and one of the simplest (because I like simple) is to set the default value of the Submitter Name column from a Form Load Rule.

On the Ribbon Bar in InfoPath, select the Data tab:

Then select Form Load in the Rules section:

Under the Form Load Rules, select the New drop down and then select Action:

Enter text to the Details for column (in this example I entered PopulateSubmitterName to remind me of the purpose of this rule):

Leave the Condition as the default and Rule type is Action. Select the Add drop down and select set a Field's value:

The Rule Details screen will appear. Leave Action set to Set a field's value. For the Field selection, select the icon on the right

and select the name of the field to pre-populate - in this case Submitter Name.

For the Value selection, select the fx icon on the right hand side

On the Insert formula screen, select Insert Function:

Select Insert Function:

For Categories, select User and then for Functions select userName and select Ok 3 times:

Finally, Quick Publish the new form to the list by selecting the icon at the top of the page:

Now when the form loads, the User Name is displayed:

A couple of things to keep in mind. The User name is a little different than on premise as I am using an Office 365 setup for this demonstration - which limits how an account can be pulled into the form some.

Also, a condition may need to be set so that the submitter name is only entered if the field is blank.

In part 2 of this series, I wall through populating the Department name based on the Source list where we tied the username to an actual Department.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Lync and Learn Session

I look forward to leading the Lync and Learn session for the Office 365 community. The past few months have kept me incredibly busy with a SharePoint migration and I have had little time for blogging. My plan is to get back in the blogging mode over the next few weeks.

Tomorrow, I will be providing a high level overview of SharePoint in Office 365. Most users come to Office 365 because of email and basically inherit a SharePoint site. Many times companies do not know what to do with the site and it sits unused. I hope to demonstrate 5 instant collaboration tools in SharePoint that can be used right out of the box.

Link for session info.

Hope to see you online!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Microsoft Surface Screen Shot

One of the first challenges that I faced with the new Microsoft Surface is how to take a screen shot. Well, the good news is that it is pretty simple (and the source I used can be found here).

To Accomplish thi:
  • Go to the screen that you wish to screen shot
  • Press the volume down button (on the side of the Surface) and the Micrsosoft logo button that is on the bottom part of the tablet at the same time
  • The screen will dim just for a second
  • The screen shot will not appear under Photos, Screen Shots